Attorneys for the year 2018 have advised it to leave town before someone shoots it.
Imagine that: An angry man with a pistol, marking the year’s last days off his wall calendar for target practice – before neighbors call the police and it’s breaking TV news. “Phil, I’m here live at a house trailer so peppered with bullet holes it looks like a rusty colander.”
The Gregorian calendar is outdated, if you ask me, because the dead of winter’s no time to pretend you’re starting anew. March 1 would be better, with the trees greening and the flowers blooming and … wait, that’s a line from “Seinfeld”:
“I just think the first day of spring is the perfect time to get married,” George Costanza says as he tries to postpone his December wedding. “You know, spring! Rejuvenation! Rebirth! Everything is blooming.”
All that crap.
We can’t change the calendar the way we do time zones, around here, so we have to accept the notion that something fresh and new begins at midnight, Eastern Time, and then again at midnight, Central Time – even if it means only that we’ll be dating documents differently, as if that resolves all the problems of this past year.
This long, weird, bullet-riddled year.
You might think one thing we’d learn from 2018 is not to trust everything we see on Facebook, but some will never learn and others will take it too far.
Some people on Facebook aren’t people, we should have learned by now, and others aren’t the people they pretend to be. A persona’s easily concocted, if someone wants to pick on you from the dark side of a facade.
Someone tried to goad me that way, over the summer, and I almost took the bait before I checked the profile, and decided it was a troll faking another identity.
Speaking of fake, randomly suggesting something is “fake news” on Facebook got to be trendy, as the year wore on.
Back in October, I’m writing a column about the Junior League diaper drive that provides diapers for needy mothers, so I talk to a mother who needs diapers, for her child, and a videographer records the interview to post online with the column.
Then this happens:
I post the column to a local Facebook group, in case anyone on it wants to contribute, and it starts picking up a lot of comments I pay no attention to, because I have a lot of work to do and can’t be on Facebook all day.
But then this exchange pops up:
“This story is fake and should be taken down,” some guy posts. “It’s a fake news story.”
“Why is it a fake story?” another guy asks.
“Because the young lady said this whole thing is made up,” the first guy replies. “She didn’t even tell the L-E any of this. And something about a lawsuit.”
“Ahh, OK. Interesting. Thanks,” the second guy writes.
Then I get pulled in: “Tim Chitwood, is this true?” the second guy posts.
Now remember: This is a column, about diapers, that is posted online WITH A VIDEO of the interview. I try to come up with some outrageous answer as a joke (“Oh yeah, we totally made all that up because …”), but can’t think of any crazy reason to write a fake story about a Junior League diaper drive.
“Would the video of her telling us this perhaps indicate she actually told us this?” I post.
“Great point,” the second guy writes.
“Hmmmm I would love to see the video,” the first guy posts.
“It’s in the article,” the second guy writes.
Another crisis averted, I think, as that ends the discussion.
That exchange shows how strange 2018 seemed, to me – nonsensical and arbitrary.
Too bad shooting it off the wall calendar won’t fix that.